The Plano Chamber of Commerce serves as a steward to its Member Investors through its Public Policy Committee and Chamber Advocacy efforts. Supporting good government enhances the economic well-being of the community and its citizens. CLICK HERE to sign up to receive the monthly Public Policy newsletter (“Take 10”), featuring notable legislation, hearings, and bills or view past newsletters HERE.
Periodically, the Plano Chamber will issue resolutions regarding issues affecting our Members and Plano residents. Below are some of the issues that we are tracking, as well as priorities that have been identified at the state and local level.
2019 Legislative Scorecard
The Plano Chamber of Commerce is pleased to share with you our 2019 Legislative Scorecard. As part of our focus on advocacy, this legislative scorecard is meant to provide an overview of the select issues that we prioritized this session and the votes cast by the Plano delegation. There was a detailed process designed in advance to facilitate a transparent system for the Plano delegation, as well as gather input from our chamber members (details below). The 86th Legislative Session was a largely productive session for issues relevant to the business community. We advocated heavily for and received additional funding for public schools throughout Texas. The legislature passed a budget that included additional funding for higher education, economic development, mental health and public education. Ch. 312, an important economic development incentive for cities, was successfully extended. We also actively participated in a regional coalition for chambers of commerce throughout North Texas to coordinate our advocacy efforts on these business-related issues and saw substantive results from those joint efforts. We are grateful to our many members that contributed to these advocacy efforts and process. Your voices are essential in this process. We are honored to represent the voice of the Plano business community and will continue to actively work on your behalf in the interim to ensure that the issues important to your businesses are addressed.
May Bond Referendum
The Plano Chamber urges you to vote in favor of the 2019 City of Plano Bond Referendum. The bond will allow the city to invest nearly $19 million in maintaining the city’s streets, almost $18 million in Parks & Recreation improvements, and just more than $8 million in necessary facility renovations to maintain our aging infrastructure. CLICK HERE for more information. RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE CITY OF PLANO’S MAY 4, 2019 BOND ELECTION
Collin Creek Mall Redevelopment
The Plano Chamber is proud to support the revitalization of the Collin Creek Mall as the project works its way through approvals at the City of Plano. The $1 billion mixed-use project will provide a fresh new look and purpose for the aging mall, renewing its place as one of Plano’s many assets that enhances quality of life and amenities for our residents and attracts visitors from throughout the region. CLICK HERE for more information on the project.
The Plano Chamber continues to enthusiastically support the redevelopment of the Collin Creek Mall. This is a unique opportunity to revitalize an aging and depreciating asset into a valuable attraction for Plano and North Texas. In conjunction with the developer, Centurion American, the City of Plano is vital to the progress of this project. Approval of the Development Agreement allows the City to continue to work towards ultimate completion of this momentous deal. The creation and management of two Public Improvement Districts and a tax increment reinvestment zone, as well as use of bond dollars for public improvements to the site and necessary repairs to the culverts under the project, as outlined in the agreement, will be essential for the viability of this project. CLICK HERE for the complete letter of support.
Plano Tomorrow Plan
The Plano Chamber supports maintaining the current comprehensive plan so Plano can continue to move forward. In 2015, the City of Plano underwent a thorough process, which included extensive public comment and input, to create a new comprehensive plan to guide further development and redevelopment within the City. The Plano Tomorrow Plan takes into consideration current demographics, zoning and building trends, and the quality of life aspects that drive residents and businesses to locate in Plano. Repealing that plan and replacing it with an outdated 33-year-old comprehensive plan is not prudent. The 1986-based Comprehensive Plan provides guidance for an era of Plano that has long since passed, and application of that plan could result in excessive retail development, significantly increased multifamily housing, and the placement of residential housing in business centers. This community and the desires of its residents and businesses have evolved significantly in recent years and any plan that provides guidance for continued progress should be rooted in the future, not the past. CLICK HERE for the complete letter of support.
2019 Legislative Priorities
The Plano Chamber works tirelessly to identify the issues of highest priority to our business community and to act on their behalf. View the Legislative Priorities for the 86th Texas Legislative Session for more details.
The Plano Chamber supports the $750 million bond program as proposed and approved by the Collin County Commissioners as an important and necessary investment in the Collin County transportation system. The Plano Chamber encourages its members and Plano residents to vote in support of the bond on the November 2018 ballot.
2017 Legislative Scorecard
The Plano Chamber of Commerce is pleased to share with you our 2017 Legislative Scorecard. As part of our increased focus on advocacy, this legislative scorecard is meant to provide an overview of the select issues that we tracked this past session and the votes cast by the Plano delegation. The 85th Legislative Session contained many challenges as well as opportunities for the business community. We are proud of the progress made with the passage of legislation that will allow Collin College to offer four-year degrees in Nursing. We supported the passage of the Budget, which included funding for several of our legislative priorities, including the TEXAS Grant program and the Texas Enterprise Fund, both of which are vital components to continued economic development in our region. While substantive changes to the property tax system failed to make progress, we look forward to continuing to engage in the conversation around school finance reform as the newly-created commission studies the issue in the interim. Finally, we joined forces with numerous businesses and organizations in Plano and throughout Texas to actively advocate against discriminatory policies that would harm Texas’ reputation as a business-friendly state.
The Plano Chamber of Commerce has signed on to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s position statement in support of modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA plays a vital role in the United States’ economy and it is no exception in Plano, TX. CLICK HERE to read the Chamber Federation Letter on NAFTA.
The Plano Chamber sent a letter to Congressional leadership in Washington, D.C. in support of the request by the U.S. Navy to add ten F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets.
The City of Plano has outlined six propositions in the bond package that are important for the City of Plano and its citizens, specifically in the areas of public safety facilities, street improvements, parks and recreation facilities, library facilities, and the preservation of the Collinwood House and historic structures. The Plano Chamber supports the objectives of this bond package and encourages its members to vote in favor on the May 6, 2017 municipal election ballot. PASSED
Collin College is committed to providing an exceptional education for its student. The passage of all propositions in the bond package is important for the further growth of Collin College, specifically in the construction of five facilities and a technical center that will partner with area K-12 districts to prepare students for high-wage, high-demand industries. The Plano Chamber supports the objectives of this bond package and encourages its members to vote in favor of the bond election. PASSED
The Plano Chamber sent a letter to the Senate Business & Commerce Committee in support of Senate Bill 1004, a measure necessary to ensure timely deployment of small cell communications technology in Texas. PASSED
The Plano Chamber sent a letter to Senator Van Taylor on February 6, 2017 opposing the original Senate Bill 1, which would remove nearly all special item funding for universities, including the University of Texas at Dallas and the Collin County Community College District. After multiple revisions, the Plano Chamber supported the bill prior to the final vote. PASSED
The Plano Chamber of Commerce joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Association of Business, more than 40 other chambers of commerce throughout the state of Texas, plus other business organizations and sector-specific business groups in filing a lawsuit against the new Department of Labor overtime rule, which would have gone into effect December 1, 2016. STRUCK DOWN BY FEDERAL JUDGE ON SEPTEMBER 1, 2017.
Collin County is projected to have a population of 1.2 million by the year 2030 and transportation infrastructure plays a vital role in addressing population growth. The Plano Chamber of Commerce supports the expedited development and revenue service of the Cotton Belt Corridor and strongly encourages DART to take all necessary actions to achieve this goal.
The Plano business community depends on excellent schools and a well-prepared workforce. The proposed bond package will not raise tax rates for residents located within the Plano Independent School District. The Plano Chamber supports the objectives of this bond package and encourages its members to support the bond election. PASSED
H.R. 4466 would exempt the Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir Project from the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, thus allowing the permitting and construction on the reservoir to move forward while ensuring that water pumped from the reservoir will still comply with all state water quality regulations and all state and federal drinking regulations. The Plano Chamber of Commerce supports H.R. 4466 and encourages passage by the House and Senate.
The Plano Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan seeks to ensure the City remains attractive and vibrant moving into the future while accommodating regional population growth and preserving the suburban character of the community. The Plano Chamber supports the principles outlined in the Plano Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan and encourages passage of the plan by the Plano City Council. PASSED
The Export-Import Bank supports U.S. exports by providing loan guarantees, insurance and financing for American goods and services sold abroad. Since 2012, the Bank has funded over $1 billion in exports for 111 companies in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex; 84 of those were small businesses.
Attracting and maintaining a diverse workforce is important for job growth, business recruitment, and employee retention. The Plano Chamber supports a business environment that is inclusive and welcoming to people of all backgrounds and beliefs.
The 84th Texas Legislature is proposing a constitutional amendment on the state ballot affecting the state’s roads, highways, and bridges. Proposition 7, drafted by legislators, would result in an estimated $3 billion per year for the state highway fund without adding any new or increased taxes, fees, or debt. The Plano Chamber supports Proposition 7 on the November 3, 2015 ballot and urges everyone to vote in favor.
Resolution Opposing EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulations That Could Threaten Electricity Supplies and Increase Power Costs
Low cost and dependable electricity is essential to economic growth, business success, and the livelihood of Texans. The Plano Chamber opposes federal EPA greenhouse gas regulations that threaten continued power generation from existing coal-fired plants in Texas or restrict development of new coal-fired power plants.
The 83rd Texas Legislature passed historic legislation proposing a constitutional amendment (Proposition 1) to be placed on the November 4, 2014 ballot. Proposition 1 increases funding for state roads, highways, and bridges and could result in an estimated $1.4 billion per year for the state highway fund. The Plano Chamber encourages our members and their employees to actively support the proposition.